Journalism in the Public Interest

Health Care, Patient Safety

Discussion: How to Improve Accountability in Medicine?

Some say increased transparency between doctors and patients can improve patient safety.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine released a report suggesting a strategy to combat death due to preventable medical errors and set a goal of cutting preventable errors in half over the next five years.

Nearly 15 years later, several problems cited in the report are still an issue. The public doesn’t know if deaths due to preventable errors have decreased, because no one agency tracks them (which was actually a recommendation in the report). And to complicate matters, deaths due to preventable error are just a subset of the problem: an estimated 1 million people or more are harmed in the hospital every year, from infections to injuries to surgical mistakes.

So why does the patient harm problem persist? Is it bad systems, or are individuals also responsible? And how can health care providers and the public promote accountability? Join ProPublica for a discussion this Friday, April 5, at 1 PM ET with Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins, SorryWorks! founder Doug Wojcieszak, UCLA’s Dr. Clifford Ko , Citizens for Patient Safety founder Patty Skolnik Consumers Union's Lisa McGiffert and health care journalist Marshall Allen.

You can tweet questions for our panel in advance with the hashtag #MedErrorsChat, or leave them in the comments below.

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